Compassion: Changing the World and Ourselves

…what if recognising our shared humanity was more than just a sentimental ideal? What if consciously practising kindness could change the wiring of your brain and make you live longer?

This is neuroscience’s latest frontier – a growing body of research that shows compassion could be the key to improved health, happiness and longevity.

Brain imaging reveals that exercising compassion stimulates the same pleasure centres associated with the drive for food, water and sex.

Other studies show it can be protective against disease and increase lifespan.

Source: Changing the world and ourselves through compassion

Interesting read, but light on the science.

And you have nice hair!

Sorry, but I don’t believe altruism exists.  Doing something compassionate to be seen as such is in fact selfish.  And I’ve seen compassion make people rather myopic, sneering at what they’d label as socialism – social programs to support the aftermath of their political views.

Using Social Media, Algorithm Predicts Personality Better Than Friends

The idea for the study came together last year when psychologist Youyou Wu and computer scientist Michal Kosinski, then both at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, watched Her, a 2013 science fiction film in which a man falls in love with his computer operating system. “By analyzing his digital records, his computer can understand and respond to his thoughts and needs much better than other humans,” Wu says, “including his long-term girlfriend and closest friends.” Wu and Kosinski wondered: Is that possible in real life?

… a team led by Kosinski showed that the pattern of people’s likes on Facebook is enough to predict their personal traits such as gender, race, political persuasion, and even sexuality.

Source: Your computer knows you better than your friends do

It was never a matter of “if”, but “when”.  Social media is a sociologists dream come true.  All the demographics, all the data…  If the service is free, the product is you.

Study: Personality Traits and Their Impact on Health

Are you as worry-prone as Woody Allen, or as chill as Seth Rogan? Your answer might give you a glimpse into your future. Certain personality traits make you more likely to develop serious diseases down the line, reports a study released this week in the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science.

Source: What Your Personality Reveals About Your Health

The personality traits they identified in the study aren’t in the DSM – no need to be a hypochondriac or self conscious.